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Norwegian left win general election ending eight years of conservative rule

NORWAY’S left-wing opposition won Monday’s general election, bringing an end to eight years of conservative rule in the Scandinavian country.

Labour Party leader Jonas Gahr Store, who is expected to be named prime minister, celebrated victory in a campaign dominated by the environment and the future of Norway’s oil industry.

“We waited, we hoped, and we have worked so hard, and now we can finally say it: We did it,” he said after preliminary results were announced.

With 95 per cent of the votes counted, five left-wing parties were projected to win 100 of the 169 seats in the Norwegian parliament.

“Norway has sent a clear signal: the election shows that the Norwegian people want a fairer society,” Mr Store said.

Conservative Prime Minister Erna Solberg, who had led the country since 2013, conceded defeat, offering congratulations to Mr Store.

Last month’s report from the UN’s intergovernmental panel on climate change, declaring a “code red for humanity,” put the environment at the centre of the election.

The oil sector accounts for 14 per cent of Norway’s gross domestic product, as well as 40 per cent of its exports and 160,000 direct jobs.

Mr Store will now lead negotiations with a left that is divided on the issue of the pace of withdrawal from the oil industry.

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